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High End – Important Basics for Music Playback

Not too long ago we read an excellent summary on the Internet of thoughts offered by a kind colleague regarding high end audio and physical basics. Actually, it has little to do specifically with cables in the main but we think the contents of importance enough to re-publish it here for your benefit:

 “ALL audio components that have to do with recording, conserving or re-creating musical playback are subject to the same basic physical laws.

Here are the 10 Commandments for every component comparison:

I. CORRECT PHASE – The phase should never be inverted! Make sure that the absolute phase of all components is correct. Inverted phase is poison for the sound.

II. DAMPING – Can you imagine the sound of a violin played with a bag over it? This is the sound of damping and it muddles the natural sound. Look for solutions for transporting the sound without damping ~ conveyed naturally.

III. FEEDBACK – Feedback is the answer to a problem that better not exist. Real dynamics and live sound use no feedback. Only when it is otherwise not possible should feedback be used in ‘homeopathic’ dose.

IIV. TIME ERROR – Jitter on the digital plain and mechanical vibrations exist even if we do not notice them and create time errors in the acoustical performance that are audible. Imagine the sound produced at 15,000 Hz frequency and the amount of energy needed to change it.

V. DYNAMIC – Music comes ‘alive’ through dynamics, be they macro dynamics or micro dynamics. Even in the volume range from 80 – 110 dB, the difference between the lowest and highest amplitudes, recorded live music remaining only 20 – 40 dB, one needs 1,000 watts power to recreate this 30 dB dynamic jump! Even if the power draw averages only 2 – 3 watts, dynamic jumps require this 1,000 watts and this at all loudspeaker impedances down to 2 or 1 Ohm. Check if you amplifier works without problems at 2 Ohms. The 4 Ohm output wattage should be approximately twice as large as the 8 Ohm output.

VI. DYNAMIC RESPONSE – The rise time of the first sound wave needs to be not only “in phase” but also be fast. How fast is your dynamic rise time under laboratory testing (and not vaguely termed, ‘fast’ or ‘very fast’) circumstances?

VII. COHERENCE – means that the playback of music results in cohesive form, as ‘one,’ and not in ‘a collection of sounds.’ Listen to loudspeakers that can present a musically ‘round,’  whole presentation.

VIII. TIMING – is extremely important. Our archaic inheritance offers in this connection an amazing ability for us to evaluate sound events very fast with an astonishing accuracy. All of us have experienced in “real time” hearing something behind our back (e.g., glass breaking), immediately determining without looking what made that sound and where that took place. This analysis is based on our capability to determine the smallest of time differences and the reflections the sound waves make. Laboratory testing of this attribute shows that we are capable of discerning time differences of 1/100,000 second! Phase and time mistakes ‘added’ to musical playback and of course the recording too, in the playback chain, are such that the sound reproduced is not at all ‘live’ as in real life and nor can it be. It is far from it. The problem of timing needs specific attention much more than frequency response which our ears, e.g., tolerate much more easily.

IX. THE MAGIC OF CABLE ‘SOUND’ – Of course cables all ‘sound’ different. Important to realize is that they all react differently depending upon the component connected to it. This has to do with the construction of the cable.

X. LESS IS MORE – The result of the shortest possible distance for the signal to travel through an elegant and stable circuit produces purest undistorted music.”

We kindly thank Hermann Hoffmann (Audio Int’l)



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Letzte Änderung: 26. Apr. 2013, © German Highend